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The Arnolfini Portrait is a famous painting by the Netherlandish master Jan van Eyck. It was painted in 1434 using oil on oak. It depicts a supposedly married couple in a bedroom. The couple are probably Giovanni Arnolfini, a merchant in Tuscany, and quite possibly his wife. The words "Jan van Eyck was here 1434" are
170px-Van Eyck - Arnolfini Portrait
inscribed on the wall behind the couple. It hangs in the National Gallery, London.

SymbolismEdit

In the Arnolfini Portrait, there is much hidden symbolism and meaning. To start with, it is implied that the couple are very rich. The clothes the couple are wearing are very luxuriant, the jewllery the woman is wearing would have been massively expensive at the time and the oranges on the side table very expensive at the time. The dog at the couple's feet can be seen as a symbol of loyalty or lust, which could symbolise their want to have children. The chandelier above the couple contains two candles; one burning and one out. The burning one is above the man's head and the out one above the woman's head. This could imply that the wife has possibly died, while the husband lives on. Finally, there is a distinct convex mirror in the back of the room. In it, you can see two people viewing the wedding, one of which could be the painter himself. The mirror is surrounded by scenes from the Passion of Christ.

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